Royal Ceremony Trooping the Colour, London, United Kingdom

Royal Ceremony Trooping the Colour, London, United Kingdom

June 15

Trooping the Colour is one of the most spectacular and formal ceremonies in the British calendar. This annual parade celebrates the official birthday of the reigning monarch. Its roots go back to the distant past, when similar inspections of banners were conducted so that soldiers could recognize military standards on the battlefield.

The regimental flags of the British Army, historically called "Colours," are sanctified and contain insignia worn by the soldiers of the corresponding unit, as well as honorary distinctions or "battle honors." It is believed that the ceremony of raising the banner was first held during the reign of King Charles II (1660–1685). In 1748, it was decided that this parade should mark the monarch's official birthday.

Today, Trooping the Colour has turned into a grand spectacle: more than 1,400 officers and guardsmen, 200 horses, and members of the royal family parade through the streets of London in full dress uniforms. The procession is accompanied by military band marches, cannon salutes, and the roar of the crowd. The troops participating in the parade are formed from fully prepared, operational officers and soldiers of the Household Division.

Trooping the Colour 2024 Program

Trooping the Colour 2024 Program

On June 15, 2024, Buckingham Palace will open its gates for the annual ceremony. At 10:00 AM, a cavalcade will depart from the monarch's residence to Constitution Hill, led by the Royal Horse Guards in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats.

At 11:00 AM, the main event will commence on Horse Guards Parade. The royal banner of the foot guard battalion will be displayed before the monarch. Only one color detachment can be formed at a time, and the five regiments of the foot guards—Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards—take turns doing this annually.

Participants in the parade will march solemnly, and the Royal Regiment will perform the ritual of changing the banner. A key moment will be the arrival of the royal family in open carriages and the mounted procession of the monarch to accept the parade.

After the celebrations in front of the palace, at 1:00 PM, members of the royal family will appear on the balcony to watch the flypast by the Royal Air Force. To the sounds of the national anthem, the cheering crowd will shield their eyes from the gleaming metal of jet fighters in the sun.

How to Get to Trooping the Colour

Constitution Hill and Horse Guards Parade are located in central London, in the Westminster area. The nearest subway stations are Westminster, St James's Park, and Charing Cross. You can also use overground transport and city buses.

If you plan to travel by car, note that strict parking and traffic restrictions are imposed near the event venue. It's better to leave your car at one of the peripheral parking lots and continue on foot or by public transport.

Remember that on this day the center of the British capital is literally flooded with tourists. To avoid being late and secure the best viewing spots, we recommend arriving early—no later than 9 AM. Also, wear comfortable shoes for a long walk.

Organizational Tips for Visitors to London

If you are planning to attend Trooping the Colour, it makes sense to plan your visit to London for a few days. Before the parade, you can see the main attractions of the British capital, and after it, you can relax and recharge.

Book your accommodation in advance, as the city expects an influx of tourists during the ceremony days. You can stay in one of the numerous hotels, hostels, or apartments in the center or within the London Ring. This will allow you to easily get around by public transport or on foot.

As for food, Westminster and neighboring areas are home to hundreds of cafes, restaurants, and pubs to suit all tastes. After savoring exquisite British cuisine, you can join the public festivities in the parks and streets of the city. Also, have an umbrella and warm clothes handy—the London weather is changeable.

At the end of a busy day, take a walk around the evening capital, admire the famous illumination, and by all means, don't miss the spectacular laser show opening at dusk from the banks of the Thames.